Breaking News: Melvin, Brewers pass on Braden Looper

As just reported on brewers.com, Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin opted not to exercise the Brewers’ option on starter Braden Looper for the 2010 season. Even if Looper had the most wins for the Brewers in 2009 (with 14), his 5.22 ERA isn’t worthy of the $6.5 payday Looper would have received had the Brewers elected to keep him around. With the almost certain demotion of fellow starter Jeff Suppan to the bullpen, the Brewers now have the two starter spots available that Melvin has been mentioning for some time. Besides the free agent market, trades, or the Rule V draft next month, the Brewers still have these internal starters vying for one of the two spots:

  1. Eric Arnett
  2. John Axford
  3. Mike Burns
  4. Josh Butler
  5. Chris Cody
  6. Mark DiFelice
  7. Tim Dillard
  8. Jeremy Jeffress
  9. Mike Jones
  10. Seth McClung
  11. Sam Narron
  12. Chris Narveson
  13. Mark Rogers
  14. Carlos Villanueva

Axford, Butler, DiFelice, Dillard, McClung, Narveson, Rogers, Smith, and Villanueva are currently on the 40-man roster, protecting them from free agency and the Rule V draft…at least for now. But none are truly expected to make the rotation next season, as Melvin continues to look outside the organization for pitching help. How successful he is in free agency will be known within the next two to three weeks.

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